I have to admit that I’m ready for fall. This summer has just been way too hot, and I can’t wait for it to cool down so I can enjoy being outside again without immediately sweating. I also really dislike having to run the air conditioner all the time just to be comfortable. I miss fresh air! Plus, fall has always been my favorite season. The only redeeming factor about this summer has been all the lovely fresh produce – berries, peaches, tomatoes, watermelon, and corn always make me smile. Today’s recipe takes advantage of several of my other favorites including summer squash and zucchini!
I dressed some quinoa with a lovely sun dried tomato vinaigrette and then mixed in chicken, zucchini, and summer squash. Then I filled colorful roasted bell peppers with the quinoa and topped them with some tangy goat cheese. The meal was summer on a plate and really satisfying!
Summer Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
8 red, yellow, and/or orange bell peppers, cut in half lengthwise with ribbing removed
Sun Dried Tomato Vinaigrette:
1 cup sun dried tomatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups quinoa
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
2 zucchinis, chopped
2 summer squash, chopped
6 ounces crumbled goat cheese
Heat oven to 400°F. Place peppers, cut side down, onto a large greased cookie sheet and roast at 400°F for 15 minutes or until they are tender but still retain their shape.
To make the sun dried tomato vinaigrette, place sun dried tomatoes, olive oil, vinegar, and salt in a food processor and pulse for 1 to 2 minutes or until smooth.
Meanwhile, place quinoa and chicken broth in a large stockpot over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 10 to 15 minutes or until all water is absorbed and quinoa is soft. Place quinoa in a large bowl and stir in sun dried tomato vinaigrette.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and sauté chicken for 5 to 7 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in the center; place chicken in the bowl with the quinoa. Place remaining 1 tablespoons olive oil, zucchini, and summer squash in the same pan and sauté for 6 to 8 minutes or until tender. Mix veggies in with the quinoa and chicken. Fill roasted peppers with the quinoa and top evenly with crumbled goat cheese. Makes 8 servings.
Nutrition: 536 calories, 19.7g fat, 8.7g fiber, 41.0g protein per serving
Cost: $2.50 per serving